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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

For the Visitor to Calvary Temple

I am writing this to the potential visitor of Calvary Temple with the hope that you will never need  the rest of this website. Leaving Calvary Temple is the most difficult thing many people will ever do and the pain of losing family and friends will last a lifetime. I hope you will be spared that experience.  

I don't know what brought you to visit Calvary Temple. Perhaps it was one of the car shows, movie nights, special events, or someone you work with. Maybe you have been struggling with personal problems - family, financial, health, job, or other difficulties. Perhaps you are seeking a relationship with God and believe a church is a good place to start your search. I want to assure you that God is the answer to the needs in your life. He is the only way to know truth, love and salvation. He is the only way to have peace. The Bible says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  (John 3:16). God loves you and has a plan for your life.  

Choosing Jesus to be the Lord of your life causes you to desire to spend time with other believers. Finding a church to attend is a good thing. You will have others to encourage you in your faith and minister to your needs. You will have an opportunity to care for others and tell others about your faith. For that reason, I am writing to you, a visitor of Calvary Temple. Please don't choose Calvary Temple for your church. There are other churches in the area that would love to have you attend and would love to help you on your spiritual journey. But Calvary Temple is not the right choice.

When you first visit Calvary Temple, you will be impressed with the loving reception you experience and the love that people appear to have for one another. In many ways, it is sincere. But that sincerity has a limitation. If you ever decide to leave Calvary Temple, for ANY reason, you will have a very different experience. If you leave without the approval of the leadership, you will be considered "out of order". The pastor, Star Scott, has said many times that you MUST have his permission to leave. Going to another Calvary Temple satellite church to minister is the only valid reason to leave. There are no other valid reasons. (not a marriage, job transfer or promotion, retirement, sickness, caring for a family member in another area, desire to minister in another church, or any other reason you can think of.) If you leave without permission, you will  be  cut off from all your friends at Calvary Temple. From the pulpit, the pastor may denigrate and vilify you. In doing so, he effectively discourages further congregational contact with you. If you  have children or other family, you will be cut off from them. The beautiful image of Calvary Temple is now seen as something else. And that something else can destroy your life.  

Dozens of families have experienced exactly this situation. There are parents who have not seen their children in 5, 10, 15 or more years. Some have never been allowed to meet their grandchildren. Men have divorced their wives because she may want to attend another church. (and vice-versa). Friends have been cut off from life-long friendships. Good people have had their reputations destroyed by the leadership of Calvary Temple so that members will not speak with them after they leave.  

There are additional reasons you should avoid Calvary Temple. If you are a member and single, you may only marry someone that also attends Calvary Temple. Dating is not allowed, you get to know someone in church events only. You will be required to tithe and give offerings and will be monitored to be sure you do. The head pastor manages Calvary Temple without any oversight or accountability. (Calvary has been investigated for tax fraud). You will be required to attend church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, as well as prayer meetings on Tuesday and Thursday night. You must attend "Family" night on Fridays along with a monthly home group meeting. You must participate in the many outreaches to the community. Men will be required to attend a monthly breakfast. There are also work days, special prayer days, volunteering at the church school, and numerous other activities. You will have little time to spend with your nuclear family.
You are encouraged to spend holidays and vacations with your "family" at Calvary Temple rather than your natural family. Your children will be encouraged to find another family in the church to live with in the event you decide to leave Calvary.

The pastor boasts about Calvary Temple being the best church, and disparages other local churches and pastors. And yet two pastors and several deacons as well as dozens of laypersons have left Calvary Temple in recent years due to disagreement with the doctrine and practices of Calvary Temple. (Many years ago the church numbered in the thousands and now numbers around 300.) 

I am deeply saddened to write these things to people who may be on a search for God. It is the greatest joy in life to discover that God Himself loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. But I believe Calvary Temple is not a safe place to go. Many people have experienced the heartaches listed above and would join me in encouraging you to find another church to attend.  

(update: June 2016) since approximately March 2015, Calvary Temple has been investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office as well as the Virginia State Police for child sexual and physical abuse.  The investigation is ongoing. In addition, you should know that Calvary Temple has had and/or currently has members that are on the national child sexual abuse list. 

Taste and See that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 34:8

Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.  Hebrews 7:25

That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.  Romans 10:9

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

For by grace are you saved through faith, and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God-not by works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

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